ALTON – For an early-season game, this one was a classic.

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Both Metro-East Lutheran and Marquette hooked up in what turned out to be a pitchers duel at Gordon Moore Park Monday afternoon, both teams trading runs before a bottom-of-the-sixth wild pitch uncorked by Corey Loew proved costly as the Explorers slipped past the Knights 2-1.

Both coaches were happy at the end of the game with how the game unfolded.

“We play these guys 10 times, we'll probably win five, they probably win five,” said Knight coach Joel Rempfer. “It's one of those games where someone has to lose, and it was just us today. I'm proud of how the kids played; it was a clean game on both sides. It was like a game that you play at mid-season or at the end of the season. They just came up with one more play than we did.”

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Explorer pitcher Max Goebel had another outstanding effort, scattering two hits and not giving one up until the fourth and striking out one, and it earned the praises of his coach. “Max really did a great job,” Marquette coach Tim Fahnestock said. “He really pitched well, and so did their guy, so no complaints there. Our defense, other than a drop early on, played well today too.”

The Knights drew first blood when Jake Schiebel reached on the dropped ball in the outfield and went to third on a passed ball, scoring hwen Loew hit a ground ball to shortstop, Schiebel scoring on the play. Marquette tied it up in the second when Liam Maher was walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on a RBI single from Brady McAfee.

It stayed that way until the sixth, when Matt Sieber waswalked, then went to second on stolen base and came home on the wild pitch. Goebel then shut the Panthers down in the top of the seventh, erasing a pair of runners on good defensive plays in the frame.

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